Monday, September 30, 2013

This and That and Then Some

Home today and glad I made that decision last week.  It was a hectic week.
I spent all day Friday at my ol' stomping grounds with Bean and Bugg.  The original school, since more than doubled, is where I attended school and where my children attended school.  Same location but altogether different.
This year I had to have a police check before I could volunteer. You have to show your license at the door, then a copy of your face and license goes on your id badge.  Wow.
Bugg's sweet teacher graciously turned over the morning to me and bunnies.  We patted bunnies, ate bunny snacks, read bunny stories, acted out Knuffle  Bunny with a laundry basket, and wrote about our own little bunny.
As I said, it seemed like such a hectic week. I couldn't figure out why.  I always go to a ridiculous extreme when I visit their classrooms. I realized I've never done both rooms in a day, so that was certainly part of it.   Anywhoo, knowing Thursday birthday night would be full up, I told Handy Man that putting ears on the bunnies was my number one Wednesday night job.  I get out all the bunny ear paraphernalia on the table and start cutting ears, when he walks up and sees the box on the table with 25 earless bunnies and says, "Why did you buy bunnies with no ears."  I couldn't even answer him.  I laughed till I cried.  A much needed laugh. When I was finally able to compose myself,  I told him I made those bunnies, but the ears were my least favorite part, so I saved them for last.  Well, that may have come after I told him I bought them on clearance from Oriental Trading and they came with no ears.
All the wee beasts made it to first grade with ears intact and were quickly chosen, given appropriate names like Reeses, Chubs and Rosiebelle and loved almost as much as the real boys.

I was only able to spend thirty minutes with Bean's group, but they were wowed by the squishy circuits and their light bulb journal and eraser.
 We got through yesterday's service without getting rained on.  I made a big display of all of Aunt Lois' escapades during the last eighteen months.  For both Lois and her sister Bett, purple was their signature color.  I sent it home with Bett, hoping she could see her enjoying the children and that it would offer some comfort.  Aunt Bett is the Daddy's last living sibling.

Kudos to Aunt SuZQ and Stephen who did all that needed doing and to Aunt Tish, Debbie and Dave, Uncle Tim, and Ol' Mother Hubbard who got what she meant to me and what is lost. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

And the Birthdays Go On

So this week my little Missy Bugg turned seven.  How can that be?  Sweet-Tee turns five and Great Uncle Tim and Gardner E. can tell their ages themselves if they want to.
Another Playdate birthday.

We had a surprise visit by Wee Willie and he and Swee-Tee's Mom and Daddy.
Then before the evening was out, more surprise birthday folk.  Granny Wandy's big day is next Tuesday. Aunt Tish's was earlier in September. Lands.

I've suffered from a bit of  melancholy this week, no surprise there.  My school went with the same calendar as Bean and Bugg's. I had today off and that is the only day I'll have off that they would be in school. So I went to do my annual visit in their classroom.  Sadly our elementary school now stops at 4th grade and this was my last time to  win the "Grandma of the Day"  award  wowing  Bean's friends with something cool.  I had that on mind when he asked me to go the creek with him last night.  Nine years that boy and I have spent in this creek, and still it calls to both of us and I am so glad.

 And my personal little package of joy believed he needed to try pop rocks for the first time.  He was not much impressed and ran straight to the candy dish to chase it with a jelly bean.  Gardner E. had never tried them either and her reaction was even better than Giddy-Up's.  Too funny.
Later he and I needed every  - single  - tractor,  and digger for, well, digging.  We were hard at work on a playground.  Then Pap wandered over and he wanted Pappy to play too.   Then Mama wondered over to give the bad news that it was time to go.  Under his breath he said, just loud enough for Pappy and I hear, "Go Away."   Somehow we managed not to give in to a fit of laughter. Rotten Butt.
 Great Uncle Tim is strumming my birthday present.  Yep, I've taken up guitar.  Well, actually he's taken up my guitar that I hope to learn to play sometime.

Playdates have not only allowed me to have some of the most wonderful and dear experiences with my littles, but I've have absolutely loved having a ringside seat to my baby brother making wonderful memories with his own littles.  Who knew that rotten little kid would grow up to be someone I so cherish. Gee, I think I'm just going float through the rest of this week on my tears.
Such cuteness, I can hardly stand it.

I've shared here before that I am not a fan of video games. I believe that time spent on them is a colossal waste.  The kids held off a long time, but Bean got a game system last year.  Thankfully, they waited long enough.  I never see it. He's still all about play.  Last night it was seeing how many different little people vehicles he could use to propel himself down the hill.  Greater fun can't be had and makes this Gramerly smile big.

Working on a Playdate picture collage of Aunt Lois.  Though I could write pages, I've about finished up her eulogy for services on Sunday.   Oy Vey.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Aunt Lois

My Aunt Lois
You were so different from the women I knew
And from early on my heart was drawn to you.
Your love of keeping busy, creative hands,
Your adventuresome spirit of other people and lands,
How any small child drew you right in,
And soft, warm critters were instantly friends,
The way you enjoyed long talks into night,
And my endless questions with you were alright,
Your welcoming spirit to me and my crew,
From the strength of your faith, peace  I drew,
Our strong attachment to our sisters and brothers,
Loving our red haired husbands above all others,
Oh, and one last thing I guess,
Our infinite ability to make a good mess,
You’re a wonderful aunt, a better friend,
And your vibrant spirit will go on without end.
Aunt Lois flew away home at 3:30 this morning.  April 25, 1920 to September 23, 2013

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hunger Games and More September 22, 2013

Wow, today is my 34th wedding anniversary.  That is a long ol' time I tell ya.  No big plans as the Handy Man is at the lake with the Captain, who has returned safely, thank the Lord, from training.
The Captain brought home souvenirs of blood blisters on his feet as big as tea cups, which I do have a picture of, but it's kind of awful and perhaps best left to your imagination, ugh.
I came home last night. As I left Pap and Bean were headed down the gravel lane to the water, with their fishing poles. A very Andy/Opieish moment which caused me to again regret having left my camera at home.

Miss Buttercup celebrates her fifth birthday today, though yesterday was the actual day. Happiest day sweet girl.

Aunt Lois is currently in Hosparus having her needs fine tuned.
Enjoying a marshmallow at a Playdate cookout the end of July.
 Oh my, very sad.
 There is a song I always sing to her that she wants sang at her service, by me.  Well.  I have this friend who sings and sometimes records things, so I asked if he could play it and sing with me and we could record it, so I wouldn't actually have to stand up in front of anyone and sing it under such circumstances.  I clearly didn't know exactly what I was asking, or would never have had the nerve.  Anyway, love his heart, he first had to find my key, then worked at playing exactly like I was accustomed to, which he accomplished, I had no trouble with the background music at all.  Next was to record him playing, then record me singing, blah, blah, blah.  Gee whiz.  Anyway, this microphone reminded me of old pictures of live radio shows and, thanks to prayers and the comfort of old friends, I didn't end up being nervous at all and it is done- hurrah!  Thank you Pastor D.

Rae-rae and Michael continue to have endless decisions to make on this adoption journey and would I'm sure appreciate prayers.

Okay, the Hunger Games.  It's been two weeks since I reported.  Handy Man did not lose weight last week. Of course, he doesn't need to lose anymore weight.  But this past week found him without the need of any reflux treatment.  That is a biggie, as he's used something, most every day,  as long as I've known him. He isn't here this morning for weigh-in, so I don't know about this week.  Finally, I've reached the ten pound mark.  I try my best to picture ten pounds of butter sitting on the table and feel like I've accomplished something, but it really doesn't work.  This business, in our world of food, so much processed, is just daily and like having a baby, needs tending all the time. You just can't stay with it without it being on your mind all the time. I dream about it.  I'm a bit weary of thinking ahead and planning every bite we take.  I knew I would have a couple of treats for my birthday, so I did. Right back to square one of that starving feeling, thinking about food non-stop.  My goal is to press on to Thanksgiving.  Take a break, whereby I continue to do low carb through the day and have a carb or treat with supper sometimes, as it will be the season, then return in January.  We'll see.

 Oh my Joy!
Watching all my boys play and work at the lake property.
Watching my happy go lucky Bugg find joy wherever she be.
Giddy-up's prayer this week. Remember, "f's" are "h's" in his language.
"Bess all dees pieces of whood (food)."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Playdate Birthday

  I told the fam that we'd celebrate my birthday on Playdate and Rae-Rae brought the cupcakes.  I told her that would be my one time cheat of the week, but she had to take any extras home. I'm not really a cupcake lover usually, but now, just the white sugar in a bowl looks appealing and she makes one, a lemon cupcake that I love.  It was delicious. She made some chocolate too that the kidlets didn't seem to mind.
Mr. Giddy-up needed a pre-supper and a post-supper cupcake, which is the right way to celebrate birthdays.  Unless of course, there would happen to be a supper cupcake.

Do you see the word "Sucker" written on my forehead?  Look closer, it's there.
Anyway, he's very into dirt and trucks and cars.  For his birthday, I bought him a Bruder firetruck and was pretty impressed, so I've since scoped out those toys when visiting The Home Store or TJMax, seeing if I could find another of that brand.
 I found a concrete mixer many weeks back and have had in the back of the car ever since.  One Playdate,  shortly thereafter, I needed something out of the car, opened the back with him on my hip, and he spied the box.  He asked for it and I hurriedly shut the door, knowing he only got a glimpse, and told him that was for another time and went on about our business. He's talked about that concrete mixer ever since.  So, here we were, in a pile of dirt with his trucks and he's still talking about the concrete mixer.  Can you guess the end of this story? Ahem.
Off I went to retrieve it. And music to my ears followed. "I love this concrete mixer." "Mines concrete mixer is the best." Well then.
I could just smooch that little dirty face all over!

The next hour was spent in some serious concrete mixing.  I might add that I enjoyed my birthday cupcake after my first employment as concrete mixer's assistant with concrete mix (dirt) from head to toe.  
I don't know what I was thinking anyway. You can't mix concrete in the winter.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hunger Games September 9

Well, at least I didn't shove Handy Man off the scale when he said, "Hmm, I should get my glasses, that can't be right."  I looked. It was right- 24 pounds. So, he's arrived. 5 weeks in and he has no more weight to lose.  My grand total is now 7 lbs.  Good grief.
Handy Man did admit that he misses potatoes and his peanut butter and crackers with his coffee on break.  Which break is that Handy Man? The one before or after the popcorn cooked in orange fat with orange seasonings?
I realized this weekend that I wasn't up for starting over with the meals I've already cooked. I've never been a "meatloaf every Tuesday" kind of cook.  Back in the day when I made month long menus, there weren't any repeats.  So I perused the Internet for some time to see if I could find something appealing we hadn't eaten.
I found a recipe for roasted red pepper soup with smoked gouda. Another that caught my eye was stuffed mushrooms. I remembered that I hadn't made the wings that have more of an herb base in awhile.  I also refreshed my memory on how you are supposed to fix those Miracle Noodles made from Japanese yams that have no carbs or calories.  I figured I hate them and rank them right up there with the protein shakes. Off I went to a different store and a health food store and returned with all the goodies.
Well, as is usual for me, the wings were wonderful, as was the soup.
So, the experts ( a gal who says she's eaten 300 lbs of these in 297 days, wow) say to rinse the noodles with water because they have a fishy smell. I knew this could be a problem for me.  I love a lot of different foods, but I'm very picky about some smells and textures.  Okay, I got this. I opened it under running water while dumping them in the colander. Just a whiff, not bad.  Next, you spray a pan with oil spray and dry fry them.  Hmmm. This I had no experience with. The closest thing I could remember was following directions to fry the stuff in the Rice a Roni box, which was about a hundred years ago.   So, I rinsed, shook and tossed in the T-Fal skillet. When you do, you get it  cuz as you stir them around the water evaporates.  Apparently, when you've done this a few minutes and they are dry, you just add whatever makes you happy.  I had already sauteed garlic and onion in butter with some seasonings. I stirred this in and added faux crab, tossed till the fish was warm and served. We liked it.  I will try it with some other things. It was very filling.
Sunday was a shower with a table of cookies, cake, mints and punch.  It's still hard.  And it is frustrating, embarrassing actually, to have to think about how you are going to keep sitting there and not mess up.  I hate that I give food so much of my attention. Even though I know exactly how it would work for me. A piece of cake wouldn't do it, I'd need a cookie and then a mint every time I walked by the table. What's funny, leaving without touching it, which I managed,  doesn't make me feel good, just frustrated.
Overall,  it leaves me grateful that sugar is the worst thing I've hooked up with, it's quite enough thank you.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

About That Bear

You know how sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you?  Well I feel a little gnawed and spit out.
Watching a family say goodbye to their boy would have been enough to do anyone in-heartwrenching that.
Saying "So long," to the Captain at the funeral as he heads to aerial assault training. Ughhhh
The hospice nurse giving the news that we've entered the "few more weeks" stage where Aunt Lois is concerned.
And on the simply annoying side, something wonky with the bee girls, the third time I've had my car in the shop for weeks with no answer and a two day nearly pointless conference, taking me away from my kids.
And....- oh enough
Most amazing, Handy Man and I did not run to the comfort of carbs this week and both lost weight. Huh, maybe that's why I'm still feeling a bit on edge.
Some joy, precious sisters and a nephew all celebrating birthdays today.  Sweet wishes from me to thee.